Friday, June 06, 2008

I go for EEG, Linda becomes Sigourney Weaver, I muse about P.E./Gym class and my NEW PLAN

I learned yesterday that Harriet McBryde Johnson has died. People talk about the loss to the “movement” and yet for me I burst into tears because this was the woman who wrote Accidents of Nature, the book which took 12 years to be published (book on Crip Camp which mocks the able bodied people….not popular to editors, odd that). Accident of Nature started me down the road about disability experience. At the time, I was new in the chair and only related to about 5-10% of the book, but it gave me a look from the inside. Little did I know in twelve months, I would have experienced many if not most of the attitudes described in the book.

She might have been a great advocate, or voice for the community. But for me she was the single voice who could explain to someone who was rather scared and desperate what it meant to be in a wheelchair; who I was, what to expect from people who had similar disabilities/impairments, and from those who run organizations “for people like me.” I will spend some more time tomorrow talking about what she means to me, but for me, when an author dies, it is personal. Because they exposed themselves, and I did know them, even if they never knew me.

This morning, the tech, in preparing me for the EEG told me that I was fucked. Or rather, somehow we ended up talking about nerves and I said if the neurologists said my axons were destroyed in my limbs, what did that mean? And he said that if I ever got any of THOSE nerves to work again, well, there would be a LOT of researchers very interested in me. It is strange how when the neurologist says, “Well, your damage isn’t the myelin but the destruction of the Axon” and you look that up and you know, you sort of KNOW that means this day is as good as you are going to be nerve function wise. But then when someone who does nerve testing makes a comment like that you KNOW, for some reason, it is like when you know that you have X, and then the “white coats” tell you that you have X and it hits with a BOOM. So this was a bit of a mental boom. And what he said after putting like 22 electrodes to my head about “just wash them out with water” was a total lie, so an hour today (just like yesterday) getting an assisted shower, followed by oxygen and loss of talking.

We arrived at 7:50 am at the hospital to find a VIHA van parked ACROSS the disabled parking spot (not in it ACROSS it), I memorized the licence plate number and gave it to reception so they could call the police and issue a ticket (after I left they reception probably threw it out). Since when we left we found TWO trucks parked ACROSS the disabled parking spot and BLOCKING us in (we were in the OTHER disabled spot). So I can see keeping those spots open was a HIGH priority for them. Seems that “Blue Badge” means, “use this as a loading zone” – and this is at a hosptial. But that is another windmill to attack another day. I was wheeled in and put in the bed and they attached the electrodes and did the hyperventilation inducement and the flashing lights and other tests. Before the test I asked for my Gatorade. He (test guy) says, “No drinking for the EEG.” I say, “Well, I hope I don’t vomit then.” He tells Linda, “Get her the drink, no vomiting during the test!”

After the test, they have flashed things at me for 10 minutes trying to make me have a seizure plus I am on my back so I can’t talk and it is hard to breathe. I can’t sit up for him to take electrodes off, and they have to use the bed to get my torso up. The techs seem to think I am the “sack of potatoes” since they talk to Linda, like, “Can she turn her head this way?” when they are standing by me and I am by the tech, so Linda goes, “Beth, turn your head.” And I feel that Linda is now Sigorny Weaver from Galaxy Quest who just repeats whatever the computer says.
I am seeing lots of black spots and sparkles and my head is doing the weeble-wooble and he asks Linda, “Is she having a seizure now?” And Linda goes, “No….this is pretty much how she is.” Hey, thanks a lot Linda, next time I come in a corset to try to erase the “This is how she is” image.

I had a night care worker last night which was a good thing because she was wearing a white hoodie partially zipped and after my seizure she kept asking, “How are you?” and “Are you breathing okay?” which made me think that she was a doctor (looking down at me, wearing white, seems logical right?). But Linda said that no, she wasn’t a doctor, but she must be good at lifting as the two of them got me from the chair to the wedge on the floor and the oxygen on me. I think I might have been deaf in one ear as I kept THINKING I was whispering and using my working hand/two fingers to point to things of MINE on the floor (like two girls kissing poster) and point to Linda and whisper, “Pervert.” At which point, Linda who was on the computer said, “You shut up, that is all YOUR stuff.” Which is when I showed the home care worker the vibrator. I REALLY am interested in the ‘incident report’ the home care worker has to write up after an ‘incident.’ Actually, for our place, that might not even rate as an ‘incident.’

I am also obsessed these days about people’s PE experiences. This is because I had this dream two nights ago about how S. from my high school overheard me while I was in this class with horrid math problems (In the dream I remember that I took it as an “easy option” instead of calculus and asked half way through class, “what is this anyway” – turns out is was a class of “scientific mathematics” and I was called to the board for a .6 conversion for an experiment requiring converting liquid to solid weight….in imperial. Yeah one of the THOSE dreams). Anyway S. who was my friend was pissed at me (misunderstanding!) and had stolen my bag with my gym clothes in it and now P.E. was up and what was I going to do. And then I woke up and remember, I HATED P.E./Gym class, as the teachers were natural athletes who didn’t understand things like say, bones growing during puberty and being awkward. So I have been asking everyone about P.E. and who took what. Linda had NO gymnastics, she had NO dance because she lived in some Mennonite town where everything was a sin so they did like running and curling. One person did Hula-hoops in gym class. I went to a private school so for example, one year our final grade that quarter was based on our FLOOR ROUTINE in gymnastics. This HAD to include: a full handstand with rollout, at least two cartwheels and a forward flip from the springboard plus a few other requirements. I just want to say now, being six foot at the time, doing a full handstand with a non successful rollout is like the sound and impact of a Douglas Fir Tree falling down during logging. WHAM! Then there was ‘ethnic dancing’ which included clogging and just about everything. We even did tennis (I told you we were a private school). The care worker did gymnastics and basketball and volleyball BUT in volleyball she had these “wrist guards” which stopped your wrists and forearms turning into giant bruises which seemed grossly unfair to Linda and I who hated this sport for that very reason. Though I was liked in Volleyball because I could do the underhand drop serve, the overhand and the jump serve (remember, I was in California!). Do YOU want to be on the other side of someone six foot doing a jump serve? I thought not. So if you had any odd P.E. sports let me know. By the way, just a note to ALL my P.E. teachers, I have NEVER been able to touch my toes (which from the hip rotator are just over 4 feet away), no matter how much you PUSH DOWN ON MY BACK YOU SADISTS! Sorry, little issue.

Anyway, if you made it all the way this far you get to hear my NEW PLAN which is the POSTCARD plan part II – which is that I have so little control over my life that I am sending EVERYONE another postcard (when my reinforcements arrive). That’s right, LIFE is my Dai Boken, this is my big adventure and as much as I would LOVE to go on another trip, I can’t. I am too weak and with the summer here I have to stay inside most of the time. But that doesn’t mean I can’t DO something. And while I am sure I will oppose discrimination (they seek me out, honest!), I also want to DO something, something positive. Something which tells you that someone out there is thinking about you, particularly if you are like me and have your up weeks and down (and honestly, who doesn’t). So, prepare! I have expanded the list and will expand it more. If you are a lurker, a ex-reader, a new reader or someone who wants to get a postcard EVEN if you live two blocks away from me, then please email me and put “Postcard” in the title. My email is: mpshiel at

I have already started and I will try to put all my creativity and wit into these so that no matter how many bills and junk mail you have you can know that something comes, something maybe not WONDERFUL but at least, okay, maybe even good. My aim is an average of FIVE MINUTES of a smile for each postcard. For someone having a crap week, that can be an important five minutes. So please, allow me to send you a postcard and send me your address. They will NOT be passed on, I promised. If you have already given your address for the Japan Dai Boken then don’t worry, YOU WILL GET A POSTCARD, no matter what country or continent. Haha! That’s the plan. Not a country changing plan but a plan none the less.

Sometimes not giving up or giving in is doing little things, one step at a time until you have done a lot of them, enough to be called a BIG thing.

This is how I’m not giving up.


SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,

Giving someone a smile is a very good little thing. By this small action, you are sharing who you are (not what you are or what you do, or how much you can do). And you, Elizabeth, are no small thing.

Smiling already in anticipation of my postcard,


Dave Hingsburger said...

I too was hit hard by Harriet's death. I just finished writing about her on my blog when I can and read about her on yours. She is a woman who's force of intelligence and wit were astonishing. A bit like you actually. Haven't left a comment recently but reading daily ...

rachelcreative said...

I myself am just getting stocked up on cards and postcards with a similar plan. I like it!

Small things count as much as big things and it's all relative. And getting post is one of my joys in life so it translates to a big thing for me :o)

I hated PE once at secondary school and all the naturally atheletic girls had been identified. I was taller and had more boobs than almost anyone in my school year and so gym kit was not what I wanted to be wearing (we had to wear those knicker shorts - yuck).

Mainly we did netball (football for the boys), hockey, tennis and swimming (swimming costume with big boobs amongst teenage boys - ugh!).

Later I chose PE instead of doing an extra language and found myself with the C band kids I had never ecnountered in PE before. We got to do cool stuff like basketball and weights at the gym.

By 14/15 I hated PE so much I was seriously considering slamming my arm in a door so I could break it to get out of PE. I had offered (pleaded) to do extra work instead of PE but no deal from my PE teacher and tutor. Some time later he did a weighing and nutrition session when he told me I was obese. I was clearly not.

I have sooooo many hang ups about PE. What I really hate is how it stole sport from me and made me never want to play sport again. Even though in junior school I was on the netball team and early in secondary school I was in the tennis club.

We did a bit of gymnastics - mainly jumping over stuff (boring). And one session of volleyball where everyone was so confused about the rules it never took off.

Sorry to hear your nerves are "fucked". Ain't that a kick in the head. Wish I had something better to say than "that's shit".

Gaina said...

It always seems worse when they park OVER our spaces instead of just taking the damn thing up doesn't it?

This keeps happening to me at college and to be fair the staff are very pro-active about making sure people don't park 'illegally' in the bays - especially the caretakers (sometimes that 'officious little bastard' gene they hall have comes in really handy! haha).

Don't feel you have to send me postcards, not because I don't want them, I really do enjoy getting them but I would rather you saved up the energy you would spend writing mine so you can train in your racing chair or go play badmington.

It's a nice day here so I'm going outside to take some pictures for you and I'll put them up in my blog this evening :)

Gaina said...

**email follow up comments** Dangnammit!! When will I ever get that bit right!? LOL

Tom P. said...

Woo hoo! I got a postcard from you yesterday. Thanks!!!

We are all keeping you in our thoughts. Wondering... how often do you check that Washington PO box?

Victor Kellar said...

Gym.Ugh. Thats from Vic. Ugh, eww, dont make me relive that .. that's from Collette

She recalls having to do some kind of musically interpretive gymnastic routine with a girl who really needed a Tic Tac in the worse way. The song selected was Bridge Over Troubled Water. Collette does not have fond memories of gym

I went to a lot of schools and really never got into the routine of anything; I was also small and although showed some flare for gymnastics I was in a football/basketball/hockey universe where everything else was pretty much sneered at. I remember in one school we played floor hockey with the goofy plastic sticks and I was actually pretty good at it but somebody stole the coach's stop watch and they cancelled gym for the rest of the year. Then there was the joy of dodge ball or, as we called it, murder ball. I was usually the main target of the opposing team but I was quick and had the gymnastic reflexes and was hard to catch; so my own team mates started to pelt me. Vic does not have fond memories of gym class.

On the postcard note: Elizabeth if you were to send me one, could you make it out to Collette as well? She is not a commenter but reads your post as I do and would get a charge out of it. Thanks

kathz said...

My P.E. lessons were horrible. They taught me that I was no good at P.E. - and that I would always be everyone's last choice for a team. I survived through escaping into the world of my imagination, smuggling books with me if the sport allowed it, conversation with other people who were not good at P.E. (depending on the sport) and hiding in the school library. My favourite sports were hockey (if I got to be a back on the winning team - not much to do and conversation with the other back), cricket (volunteer to keep the boundary, then hide in the shrubbery with a book), tennis (join up with a similarly-minded friend, hit all the tennis balls into a hedge and spend the rest of the lesson looking for them). I also enjoyed table tennis because somehow I learnt how to do a killer serve. After school I gave up all sporting activities until I discovered fencing. But I don't think I'd dare go to another club, just in case it turned out like school P.E.

I know what you mean about being sad when a writer you care about dies.

As for the delivery men, they must be very stupid indeed if it hasn't occurred to them that people with disabilities might just turn up at a hospital. Perhaps they think it's just for healthy people.

Ellie said...

I grew up in South Dakota and we did square dancing and line dancing every year in P.E. And then dodgeball and kickball, and that was it. We were a really small school.

Neil said...

Star Date: (who cares? They haven't been invented yet.) - Literary report.

"Beth "Determined to Live" McClung seems determined to wear out my library card. She keeps mentioning interesting-sounding people and books, and I, sucker that I am for a good book, cannot resist using the library's internet service to put them on hold and have them delivered to the nearest branch."

Seriously, Beth, I have read several books because you or some of the rest of the commenter family has recommended or just mentioned them. This morning, it's Harriet McBryde Johnson's "Accident of Nature" because I'm curious about experiences I haven't had (yet). (Sometimes I'm too curious for my own good.) Unfortunately, our library has never heard of M.P. Shiel. They purge books from the system far too efficiently here in darkest Saskatchewan.

I detoured to the best book store in the city yesterday to pick up "Zed" on the way home from work. I'm up to chapter 5, and I REALLY wish I could have had an English class or two from you!

You seem to have enjoyed Galaxy Quest, since you're mentioned it at least twice recently. My wife enjoyed it more than I did, and since we watched Star Trek, The Motion Picture last weekend (I never noticed the bad acting before!), my dear wife wants to watch Galaxy Quest again. She said STTMP reminded her of so many of the scenes in Galaxy Quest. Oh, well, it's not that bad a movie.

But I have a recommendation for YOU, dear Beth. Find the movie Blow Dry. Alan Rickman stars as a hairdresser whose ex-wife would like to have him compete in the All-England Hairdressing Championship. But it's much funnier than that sounds. Except for the Elvis impersonation - then it's time for the Donny Osmond/Disco Duck duets.

High School PE? I loathed the pain that volleyball caused, could not and still cannot run (long legs + knock knees = clumsy runner), hung like an idiot from the rings, managed to completely avoid even trying the uneven bars, and got thoroughly dissed for standing unguarded calling for the basketball.

I can bicycle, and have done long distances, but wasn't fast enough to race.

I AM a small-muscle athlete: a musician. Actually a mostly lapsed musician, but I'm going to pick it up again for a fundraiser next month. Anyone planning to be here on July 26, it'll be at the Elks Club hall.

The Goldfish said...

See, when I think Sigourney Weaver, I think Alien, so I was guessing that Linda had been either the only survivor from a spaceship that had been attacked by an alien, been in kryogenic stasis for a long time, confronted a queen alien, shaved her head and moved to an all-male prison colony, become impregnated by an alien or perhaps jumped into molten lead but had her personality ressurected in a clone of herself who met up with Wynona Rider...

Anyway, I went to a British public school so I got hockey, netball, tennis, rounders, swimming and gym at high school. My favourite thing was cross-country running, which was actually cross-country and whilst I have never had great speed or co-ordination, I used to have stamina so I could run and run and run and the countrsyide was very nice. I wasn't too bad at gym because I was quite bendy and liked prancing about.

The worst thing was probably netball because I was tall and therefore supposed to be good at it. I was terrible. I was even worse at tennis but the school only needed a couple of pairs in the year to represent it so I could hang out on a distant court and nobody cared.

Tayi said...

I don't remember anything particularly interesting about PE class. Well, I went to a very small private school for elementary and middle school, and we didn't have a proper PE teacher. We were supposed to be learning basketball at one point, but no one knew the rules properly so it was a bit of a mess. And I played really agressively and ended up with a scar on my cheek where my face connected with another girl's long fingernails.

I was always really small, and I took gymnastics classes for a while, so I was pretty good at athletics, but I didn't like it. Most of the years I went to that private school I didn't have any friends, there were two or three cliques of girls my age, and one clique of boys, and then me, so group sports really sucked. I liked running and other individual stuff, though. I remember once our school had a jump rope fundraiser for heart disease, and I was able to jump rope longer than pretty much everyone else, and that made me pretty proud of myself. I could hula hoop longer than anyone else too... maybe the other kids didn't like playing with me because I was too competitive, lol.

I wish I could still run. I really miss being able to push myself physically without falling into serious illness for days afterward.

Defying gravity said...

Hi Beth

I've only commented once before, but your question about PE has brought me out of lurker-dom!

I'm went to a UK girls school, and at different times we did dance, gymnastics, netball, tennis, field hockey, and athletics. I was hopeless at everything, and the PE teacher used to drive me mad by telling motivational stories about enormously fat girls who did fantastically well because they tried so hard. She then totally ignored those of us who weren't natural athletes, and gave terrible grades regardless of how hard we tried.

The low points for me were dance lessons (thankfully only til age 13/14, but a leotard at age 14 is agony....) where we had to dance out a recipe (e.g. scrambled eggs). I believe I was a frying pan. Hurdling was also painful, literally, as I'm only 5'3". One of my friends managed to run straight through a hurdle and snap it in half.

All the best

Judith said...

PE - mostly loved it! I was so strong then - I made up for what I lacked in skill by sheer stubborness and endurance. Guess I still have those qualities but I wish I could run again. That would be really something.

FridaWrites said...

I didn't know about Harriet's work until her death, but have loved reading the NY Times piece and about her advocacy. How wonderful her life.

I have PE experiences I want to share! But it's lengthy, so I'll do a blog post on it soon and send the link. Right now I just have the energy to read and now that the pain's diminishing again and I've stopped yelling at people about Boy Scout popcorn and the heart monitor, Hubby keeps standing over me asking if we can get out again. So I guess I will share later, since I do want to get out.

I have a more recent postcard from you too, and it's beautiful and I look at it often--so many smiles when I'm just lying here.

Miss Fairy Sparkle said...

Basketball, netball, hockey, tennis, shot putt, long jump, high jump, javelin, gymnastics, ropes, Jane Fonda work outs, modern dance, and synchronised swimming.

Not private school. Uniform for PE so hideous (long red woollen socks, blue skirt), mum refused to buy it. : )

Heather said...

I have only vague memories of gymn class. There was the year lung problems kept me out of class. Followed by the year I had to wear one of these hideous gymn suits and lived in fear of angry thirteen-year old girls wielding field hockey sticks. And I just had an unfortunate flashback to the smell that emerged from the gymn suit as I pressed it.

Raccoon said...

I never heard of Harriet before this week. I just read the essay that she had in the New York Times. Sounds like a real interesting lady.

Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest. She loved that role -- the outfit gave her cleavage.

I wasn't very good in PE, myself. And playing dodgeball was the worst.

I'll be looking for postcards for you.

Have you heard of a manga called "Let's Bible"?

Neil said...

Hi Beth:

I hope things are going well for you this weekend. I've a bit of news, dear, for everyone here:

Since several of the assembled throng have made encouraging noises, I've started a blog. Since I'm brand-new to blogging, I've no clue if my name at the top of the post will connect to it, so just this once, I'll let you know that I'm at

I hope you don't mind my advertising here, Beth. But it's entirely due to you and the people commenting here.

Thanks to you, Beth, and Tayi, and other nice people, I'm learning to find my voice on the 'net. Thanks all!

Cheers, and many zen hugs!

Elizabeth McClung said...

SharonMV: Well, you are right, I am not small thing, as many care workers i have toppled toward have commented. I think the postcard plan has the merit of keeping me busy from trying to take over the world (that's a fall activity)

Dave: Thanks, I think she truely was a "force" but I was not sad in a collective sense and wanted to make that clear, some people were upset when Gemmell died, I was when she died.

Rachelcreative: Great minds think alike! I think it is always a joy to get personalized post, even emails, assuming you are not informing me I have won the irish lottery, the BBC lottery, the need for you to tranfer 50 million pounds out of the country, etc.

We did weights at school too, for about 2 weeks but I never considered it "cool" more like, "Why should I want to lift MORE, isn't that why I have a brain, to figure out how to avoid that?"

Yeah, I still got that stupid ecomorphic, endomorphic crap memorized. I cant remember if I was overweight, anemic or both.

I agree, it is like PE is designed to make you distrustful of sports which is why I did running, becuase I didn't have to compete with anyone and no one knew how far I was going but me.

Gaina: It seems to show more distain, that instead of using them, they don't even acknowledge ligitimate existance.

Well, since the ratio of recovery time for one hour of wheelchair racing training or badminton is about 100 hours to 1, I think I can safely groan and moan my way through a bunch of post cards while waiting to heal. Thanks for the thought though.

Tom P: I'm glad you got the postcard and I got one from you last week, thanks. The box is checked every other day and brought to be once a week or so, recieved it today postcards (two nice cards in envelopes though!)

Victor: YEah, I am not sure what that says about your personality that when you played dodge ball YOUR OWN TEAM would try and hit you and you are PROUD of that. Well, as a non-conformist, that really is up there. But come one, tell us what we really want to hear - are there actually jock strap checks?

Collette: oh wow, that actually is worse than a floor routine, a combined gymnastic routine to bridge over troubled water. UG.

Kathz: You must have had some pretty interesting uniform if you could smuggle books out to the track or floor hockey. I too was pretty much last to be picked, and tended to have the coordination of a drunk giraffe.

I really wish our school taught us table tennis, that was left for a youth hostel I camped out in to write my first novel on a typewriter I saved (and repaired) from the trash - that novel was horrid, but I improved my table tennis immensely.

Ellie: I was about to go "Square Dancing" when someone from Wyoming told me that was what they had too, I guess it sort of prepared you for life there. Oh yeah, I remember kickball, one teacher liked me and made me the pitcher, our team lost like 28-2, not that I am still traumatized into remembering that game or anything.

Neil: Since most libraries don't have M. P. Shiel, I would be surprised if you COULD find him, I will see if I have a copy extra and send one too you. Good that you have a computer reserve system.

I will attempt to find Blow dry at my local video place (Assume I am let back in after the Diving Bell and Butterfly incident) though it least it SOUNDS like I am renting a porn film. So some cred in that. Yeah, that book, Zed, teaches a lot about how to use the F. word in all circumstances of life.

Galaxy Quest is best when they arrive in space. But yeah, a classic.

You had the rings and uneven bars in PE? Wow, a very gymnastics oriented school.

Goodfish: Actually, no I think I AM the one hosting some life sucking force and will end up bald, Linda however gets the cleavage.

see, unlike everyone else I know that "public school" means oh so posh - so I am surprised you didn't have horse riding, or was that just a club? I was in LA so "cross country running" was going around the block in smog until you coughed up black stuff.

Tayi: I liked skip rope and becuause it was in LA, we did double dutch too. Yeah, I envied those small body types who could do things like standing back flips.

I too miss running.

Coming from LA, I shudder at the thought that no one would know how to play LA, the competition in basketball was rather harsh since many had been playing since 4 or 5 so if you learned at 12 or 14 then, well, you sucked and so did your life.

Defying Gravity: Thanks for commenting. I always hate the "motivational stories" of natural athletes, Though since I couldn't walk when I was 17 I got sort of avoided or a living lesson to others of WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU - probably if you didn't try hard enough in Gym.

The dance routine of performing a recipie left me speechless, and still does - SCRAMBLED EGGS? I suppose we should be grateful you didn't Heuvos Rancheros or Stir Fry. It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering what netball is. Is that a Canadian thing? Or British? I may e-mail you to get on your postcard list. I think that's a great idea! How fun (at least for us, and I hope you have fun doing it...)

yanub said...

Weirdly enough, we just has a conversation on the edsers listserve about PE. The unanimous conclusion is that we all hated it. Invariably, we all had the experience of some joint or the other going out under small pressure, and when we complained, being told that we were lying because what we were saying was impossible.

I do have one story of triumph in P.E., though. In high school junior year, our P.E. coach relented and allowed one of us loser girls (those of us bad at any athletic endeavor) to be a team captain one day. We were overjoyed as Debby started picking all us losers. Even the last to be picked was confident that she was being willingly chosen, though you should have seen the athletic girls sweating for fear of ending up with us. Then the game began. The jockettes were so excited that they were going to burn us but good. Soon their smiles faded as it turned out that we really didn't care that we were losing, and that we weren't even trying to win. We were doing something they had never even thought of: Playing just to have a good time. We cheered each other no matter whether a girl hit the ball over the net, under it, or at it. Each server described her own particular bad serve style, and then we cheered whether the ball flew precisely as predicted or actually made it over the net into the opposing court. We lost, but the winners lost their temper. The coach never again let us choose to be together, but that one time was so very special.

I love Galaxy Quest. MD and I have frequent reason to quote Gwen, "This episode was badly written!" whenever we are having a crappy day.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
After I posted my comment last night, I thought, oh, she'll probably make some crack about her height. I trust you do know (even modest as you are) that I was referring to the size of your intellect, personality & spirit.
Besides, being petite(i.e. short) is not all that great - take it from one who knows (and who is now still short, but no longer petite).


Elizabeth McClung said...

Judith: Well, I was stubborn and I miss running but I was also in LA, I am glad your PE experiences were better than mine.

Fridawrites: you are a big tease and just telling us that you have a story you will tell LATER becuase you are going outside to do fun stuff?

One good postcard deserves a friend to go with it! I will work on that!

Miss Sparkle Fairy: Javalin, now that is something I WANTED to do but no go in the US, Linda got to do it in church camp - I wonder why no one wanted to give me a gaint pointy spear (particuarly when my throw to first base from outfield hit the second basewoman on the back of the head)

Heather: Usually it was lacrosss or field hockey which was viscious on the shins, I do have to wonder, were you in some small valley that thought it was in the 1950's or raised in a bomb shelter as those uniforms

Raccoon: I think she was, she inspired me in a lot of ways, on a personal level. As for that role, I LIKED IT because it gave Sigourney Weaver cleavage - woo hoo! But no gun (boo!).

Thanks for looking for postcards. Please tell me that you are not getting me "scripture postcards" becuase that is what "let's bible" sounds like.

Neil: that's great, I hope the blog does well, I need to update my blog roll so if I have time tomorrow I will add everyone from this year, including yours, unless it is X-rated or something.

Anon: I hope you do email to get on the postcard list - cards for all people and all interests. And it is fun. As for netball, I think it is a slower version of basketball where you can't run when you get the ball. I never played it, this was LA, we did basketball!

Yanub: I really enjoy that story, it is like the inspirational movie but REAL becuase YOU didn't win, you were just glad to be on the same team and not looked down on and having fun and all the things that PE teachers seem to disapprove of which is why people don't do sports for several decades thereafter.

Sharonmv: What, with the who? I obviously wasn't offended but thank you for your concern. Most hieght jokes are fairly unsubtle like, "Do you reach ALL the way to the ground?" kind of unsubtle, and I am sure it wasn't that.

Veralidaine said...

Short comment:

I had ultimate frisbee and hackey sack in PE.

Yes, my entire high school WAS run by hippies, why do you ask?

SharonMV said...

The short jokes weren't any better. I used to get "how's the weather down there?"
The who is me - sorry if I was being unclear.


Heather said...

Beth wonders: "were you in some small valley that thought it was in the 1950's or raised in a bomb shelter"?


You have perfectly described my family and the town I grew up in. I had to wear that get-up in 1971.

Defying gravity said...


You're right about netball, it's a British thing and was (I think) originally a girls version of basket ball. Smaller pitch, no back board, and once you have the ball you can only move one foot and have to pass the ball. Still mostly played by women.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Beth and defying gravity for the explanation of netball. I'm not sure I would have liked it much... (I join those for whom PE class was not always particularly successful.)